Taking her professional name from Greek mythology where Aoede is the ‘muse of song’, Californian singer/songwriter Lisa Sniderman forges ahead in her own idiosyncratic manner. Already this year she has won ‘Album of the Year (2011)’ and ‘Best Folk/Acoustic Artist’ categories in the inaugural ‘Artists in Music’ awards ceremony held during ‘Grammy Week’ in Hollywood’s ‘Key Club’. This album marks a new achievement for her as it was helped to reality via a ‘crowdfunding’ pitch.
A well known quote goes along the lines of “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade”, and given the obstacles that Lisa has had to deal with, she has most definitely opted to ‘make lemonade’ as opposed to playing the victim. Her positive and inspirational approach to life is reflected in her considered and thoughtful lyrics. I suspect that Aoede is not a ‘glass half empty’ person, much more a ‘glass half full’ person – in fact I believe that she would tend towards the view that the glass is always full – half liquid and half air. Her lyrics are well constructed and highlight a range of positive, uplifting emotions. Her voice is very distinctive and after listening to ‘Skeletons Of The Muse’ I found myself re-visiting Carole Bayer Sager to confirm my recollections of similar sounding vocals. In many ways, the sound of Aoede’s quirky soprano voice isn’t the only thing that she has is common with Carole, both write excellent songs as well. Aoede describes herself as a producer of “compelling pop for your heart”, for fans of the likes of Feist, Lily Allen, and A Fine Frenzy. In addition to her music, she maintains a busy presence in cyber-space with her monthly e-newzine and frequent fun tweets.
The opening track, ‘Can’t Stop The Music’, gets things started in a light and upbeat mode and seems to encapsulate my relationship with music, “I can’t stop the music in me”.
‘Skeletons’ is a much meatier affair, a very powerful and rocking track, helping to illustrate Aoede’s musical versatility.
‘Love Proof’ supports my feelings that Aoede’s writing portays a certain naivety, and it exemplifies Aoede’s desire to seek meaning in life, “show me how to do this thing called life, I haven’t got a clue”
‘Does Your Heart Ever Stop Feeling’ is a philosophical number that considers the ways in which we might learn from experience, “if years have passed and chapters closed, does your heart still know.”
Supported by a wonderfully appropriate video, ‘Fairy Tale Love’ is a wonderful celebration of childhood innocence; both the song and video incorporate fairy tale imagery to great effect, “what if the prince never kissed Beauty’s lips, she might still be sleeping alone.” The juxtaposition of including a nursery-rhyme themed song on an album for adults reminds me of a common quote that does the rounds on various social media sites – “when we were young we couldn’t wait to grow up – now that we are grown up, what were we thinking?”
A very deep question is posed via ‘If You Already Knew’ – what would life be like if we knew everything in advance with certainty?
A particularly fitting choice to end the album is ‘What You Got’, a positive anthem encouraging us to accept our limitations and to ‘do what what we can with what we’ve got.’
I had been looking forward to hearing this finished album and certainly wasn’t disappointed to hear the result – just waiting now for my physical copy to make it’s way across The Atlantic!
1/ Can’t Stop The Music
3/ Days Like This
4/ Love Proof
5/ Does Your Heart Ever Stop Feeling
6/ Perfect Day
7/ Fairy Tale Love
8/ If You Already Knew
10/ Fall On Your Deaf Ears
12/ Crave Me
13/What You Got
‘Fairy Tale Love’ video: